The car interior is set to change more than ever

Interesting, Others | February 3rd, 2015 by 11
bmw vision future luxury 48 750x500

Interior design has become far more focused on technology, incorporating navigation, smartphones and Wifi

Cars are so reliant on computer and technology, nowadays, that it seems like things like the engine or transmission are afterthoughts. This isn’t some kind of “old is better than new”, bah-humbug style rant, but cars are becoming more and more about their electronics than about their mechanics, and it shows in their designs.

Car design, especially interior design, has become radically different over the past decade or so. Interior design has become far more focused on technology,  incorporating navigation, smartphones and Wifi. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; times are a changin, as Bob Dylan would say.

2014 bmw i3 interior front and rear 750x500

I’m going to say BMW does this better than anyone, with the i3 and I’m not just saying that because this is BMWLOG.

I’ve been in many, many new cars of all kinds in the past few years, and the BMW i3 is easily the most forward thinking interior I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting in.

bmw i3 interior design 01 750x500

But it isn’t only BMW , different car companies are paving the way for creative interior design across the entire auto industry. Car companies like Tesla, who have massive, high-def screens instead of the typical radio and climate controls.

tesla-interior-design-touch-screen

Audi just recently debuted the new TT, which has a giant screen as the gauge cluster, which can be customized into showing different readouts or even make the entire screen your navigation.

2015-Audi-TT-Roadster-interior

Mercedes also has a system similar, in the S Class, which uses two different 12” screens.

2014-mercedes-benz-s-class-front-interior-view

Car interiors are no longer all about driver position or outward visibility. Those are still important, misunderstand, but they aren’t the only priorities any longer. When you buy a new car, by today’s standards, said car must be able to connect to your  smartphone, check your blind spot, warn you of upcoming traffic and make you pancakes in the morning.

Some cars can nail the perfect balance of technology and driver involvement. That perfect blend is one of my favorite things about the BMW i3.

2014-BMW-i3-Driver-Cabin

It had such a great balance between old-school driving position and new age, funky tech. It also looks so ahead of its time, yet still felt utterly familiar when driving it. That kind of balance is near-impossible to achieve when dealing with that level of technology. Not having traditional mechanical components to control, like an engine and transmission can make designing and interior to feel familiar difficult. So the fact that the i3 does this, better than anything else, is impressive.

The Tesla Model S is impressive as well, but let’s face it, aside from the giant iPad-esque screen stuck on the dashboard, it’s a pretty basic interior. The Audi TT and Mercedes S-Class both have very nice, very well appointed and very impressive interiors. But nothing can hold a candle to the BMW i3 and i8 when it comes to originality. Maybe the Porsche 918 can, but that costs more than some small islands.

So, to sum up, the car interior is evolving. As our technology grows and as our standards grow, the automobile must grow as well. Will I miss the days of interiors when the most important factors were seating, pedal and steering wheel position?

bmw-325i-interior

Yes, simple can be comforting and charming. But this new world of technology can have its own charms as well. If you don’t believe me, sit in a BMW i3.

11 responses to “The car interior is set to change more than ever”

  1. jason bourne says:

    Too much tech.

    Cars are about driving and you need gauges, not a home theater setup.

    • Peter Griffiths says:

      I agree, wish I could say the same thing to all manufacturers but times are changing and we’ll have to deal with it, I’ll eventually have to give up my E32. The Demographic at which today’s cars are aimed at is changing. Just as smartphones are no longer phones, devices that used make calls only the automobile is fast becoming the autonomous-mobile. And in BMWs case, the ultimate self driving machine.

      • jason bourne says:

        Sadly, you’re right… And if that’s the case, I’d expect a surge in the vintage car market in the future for those who are real car enthusiasts.

    • Peter Griffiths says:

      I agree, wish I could say the same thing to all manufacturers but times are changing and we’ll have to deal with it, I’ll eventually have to give up my E32. The Demographic at which today’s cars are aimed at is changing. Just as smartphones are no longer phones, devices that used make calls only the automobile is fast becoming the autonomous-mobile. And in BMWs case, the ultimate self driving machine.

  2. jason bourne says:

    Too much tech.

    Cars are about driving and you need gauges, not a home theater setup.

  3. hashad khodabacchus says:

    great technology
    too much technology with bmw

  4. Jeremy Snyder says:

    I can’t wait to see BMW implement Apple’s CarPlay… and, as much as BMW has resisted, I’m REALLY excited to finally have touchscreen multi-media/Nav in upcoming models, if rumors are true. I LOVE that BMW puts their Nav closer to line of vision so that drivers don’t have to look down like in some models. I’m just hoping for even crisper (higher-resolution) displays w/ OLED for nice viewing at night– I hate “light out’f the corner of my eye” in some cars– including from USB car chargers and such in my own… Audi (and VW) have the best color combos for nighttime driving, and BMW is a close second/third, I think. Anyway, I’m not opposed to more tech and multi-media in cars………. I just want the interfaces between car and smartphones to be seamless, and I want the technology to be as non-distracting as absolutely possible. It’s inevitable that more tech will find it’s way into our cars– let’s just hope that car companies (BMW included) keep it from distracting us as best as possible. :-D

  5. Jcro says:

    well said, and bang on about the i3. so much tech, so minimal a design. at night, with lighting, the intrument cluster just floats.

  6. Jcro says:

    well said, and bang on about the i3. so much tech, so minimal a design. at night, with lighting, the intrument cluster just floats.

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